In 2018, we teamed up with local nonprofit CONAPAC to launch an innovative program to provide families living in rural Amazon river areas with fruit trees and training in their planting and care. Assistance with marketing efforts are also underway so that harvest will provide both nutrition and revenue for families whose income is often less than fifty U.S. dollars a month. The project will promote conservation efforts by planting more trees in areas that are vulnerable to deforestation.
The vast majority of families living in communities in the Peruvian Amazon earn less than US$550 per year, less than $2 per day. Such a low income requires using natural resources, including cutting native trees from the forests to ensure survival. Additionally, traditional diets and food growing methods are being lost, even in these rural Amazonian communities. The health of both the people and the Amazon itself are suffering in turn.
We must replace the need to over-extract natural resources from the rainforest. By planting sustainable orchards full of native and productive fruit trees, we provide both a plan for reforestation as well as a source of income for families. Fruit trees will also prevent erosion along these delicate riparian areas and provide habitat for local wildlife--all while producing fruit for better nutrition and stable incomes for Amazonian families.
We must plant trees NOW to save the Amazon for future generations. The tree canopy of this forest is one of the most important natural resources on our planet, and deforestation for lumber, cooking, and income is destroying it at an unprecedented rate. By planting trees now, we can slow down the impacts until we restore balance to this fragile ecosystem. We will also save native fruit tree varieties of this area that could otherwise be lost forever.